We are in the midst of a CCaaS explosion.
To put it lightly, CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) blew up when companies were forced to work from home. Now that we’re well into the CCaaS boom, options for providers have grown. This only means good things for your clients. They have a wealth of options available and can sift through them to find the right fit for their needs. However, knowing what to look for can be difficult. By developing a better understanding of the differentiators of various CCaaS providers, you can help guide your clients to the best solution.
Whether it’s their first time looking for a CCaaS provider or they’re ready to make a switch, AVANT’s extensive experience is here to lend you a hand in leading those CCaaS conversations. Explore some of the features that you and your clients should consider as you help them choose the best vendor.
1. Domestic vs. International
Like UCaaS platforms, your client’s new CCaaS platform should be able to support their agents wherever they may be in the world. Consider the CCaaS provider’s points of presence (POPs), or where their platform is hosted. Significant distance between contact center agents and CCaaS POPs often means poor call quality and end-customer support. Remind clients they should aim to find a provider that has POPs near agents to deliver a high-quality experience.
Tips for your clients: Don’t be afraid to ask a CCaaS provider, “Do you have international POPs and, if so, where are they located?”
2. Including UCaaS vs. Keeping Current PBX
When deploying CCaaS with voice, there are two options:
- Deploy UCaaS in conjunction with CCaaS
- Deploy CCaaS over the top of an existing on-prem PBX platform
So, which option is best for your clients? When moving to the cloud for CCaaS, it’s technically preferable to move to the back office voice to the cloud (i.e., UCaaS) as well. This allows organizations to cut down on usage charges and enjoy a more seamless experience. However, it’s not always financially viable. In these cases, deploying CCaaS over the top of an existing on-prem PBX is likely the best option.
Consider existing infrastructures and future plans, as well as what financially makes sense for the organization, while exploring these options. Note that if your client’s company plans to deploy UCaaS in conjunction with CCaaS either now or in the future, it’s important to look at UCaaS and CCaaS platforms that integrate with each other. This can come in the form of a single provider that offers both UCaaS and CCaaS or two separate but integrated providers for each respective solution.
Tips for your clients: Ask potential providers “Do you offer your own UCaaS solution and, if not, which UCaaS providers do you integrate with and what does that integration look like?”
3. Types of Communication
Many platforms on the market look very similar to one another, but communication is one way providers differentiate themselves.
We tend to see three classes of contact center platforms:
- Basic: Voice-only CCaaS platform (technically call center, not contact center). Sometimes, an SMS or email channel is included.
- Advanced:Includes all the available communication channels including inbound voice, outbound dialers, web chat, email, and social media.
- Next-gen:Includes all the communication channels listed above, plus artificial intelligence. This could mean chatbots, virtual agents, and more.
When evaluating platforms, remind clients to think both about what their contact center is doing today and what might help improve it in the future. Oftentimes, CCaaS providers will offer a mix of the classes above to cater to different types of contact centers. Customers might start with an advanced contact center and move up to a next-gen when they’re ready.
Tips for your clients: For this reason, it’s important to ask CCaaS providers about their licensing tiers and what exactly is included in each one. If you think your contact center might benefit from AI, it will also be beneficial to ask about the different types of AI currently offered by that provider.
4. Application Integration
If your client’s organization uses a certain application, consider how it might integrate with their new CCaaS platform. Identifying a provider that integrates with these applications can significantly help contact center agents while also giving callers a better experience. Plus, they might assist with logging call notes and transcriptions into a CRM, syncing contact lists, and more. Even if a CCaaS platform doesn’t have a pre-built integration, as long as the APIs are open and available, an integration can oftentimes be built out.
Tips for your clients: If your contact center uses a specific platform to house customer information, make sure to ask potential CCaaS providers about integrations they may have with it.
5. Compliance Requirements
A major requirement to consider when looking at CCaaS platforms is compliance requirements. If an organization adheres to certain compliances, make sure the chosen CCaaS platform supports those. Instruct your clients to determine whether the CCaaS provider itself needs to be compliant or if it will suffice for the provider to give your client the tools necessary to remain compliant. The two compliance requirements we see most often are HIPAA (for healthcare organizations) and PCI (for anyone that takes a credit card over the phone). Most CCaaS platforms have extensive knowledge around these compliances and can help their customers stay HIPAA or PCI compliant.
Tips for your clients: Having more in-depth compliance discussions? Ask to have a conversation with the compliance officers at a particular CCaaS company.
To learn more about the specific details one must consider when exploring CCaaS providers, visit AVANT engineer Sarah Arnstein’s blog, which offers a wider picture of the information found here!
Identifying the features they must look for in a CCaaS provider is crucial to finding the right fit. As a Trusted Advisor, you can provide the best service and help guide effective conversations by knowing the details of these features. Fortunately, AVANT has developed a deep knowledge of the providers in our wide portfolio and is ready to examine your client’s unique needs to help connect them with the right fit! If you’d like to talk to someone who can help narrow down the CCaaS market with providers who are going to be the best fit for your client’s organization, please fill out one of our interactive quick assessments or fill out the form on this page and an AVANT expert will reach out to you shortly.